As the House begins a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Congress must be given the full whistleblower complaint that triggered the dramatic turn of events.
The complaint initiated revelations that Trump was seeking politically advantageous information from a foreign government, during a July call with the president of Ukraine.
Just releasing a transcript of the call and a redacted version of the complaint, which the White House agreed to do Tuesday, is not enough. Congressional committees need the full complaint to see context and any additional concerns.
Weaseling out of this disclosure harms the administration, the public and the nation. If there was no wrongdoing, why the stonewalling and transcript feint?
Republicans should support Democrats seeking disclosure of the complaint to Congress. This demands patriotism not partisanship.
The Intelligence Community Inspector General reportedly found the whistleblower complaint to be of “urgent concern and credible.”
On the call, Trump reportedly pushed the president of Ukraine for an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, which could provide political dirt for Trump’s 2020 campaign. Simultaneously, the administration was holding up military aid that was promised to Ukraine, intentionally or not creating leverage. The hubris is stunning: Trump made this call right after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony, so he was acutely aware it’s illegal to seek foreign campaign support.
The gist of these shocking disclosures was confirmed this week by both Trump and his loquacious personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. They torpedoed any arguments that the complaint is not credible or too sensitive to share in confidence with congressional committees.
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Nakedly political activity is afoot. In addition to seeking an investigation into the family of a leading Trump challenger in the 2020 election, Trump reportedly sought another investigation into whether Hillary Clinton received help from Ukraine in 2016.
Americans must resist the temptation to ignore the seriousness of what’s happening and rush to take sides as the impeachment process begins. This is not just Trump being Trump or the left being the left.
The 2020 elections are a critical test for the United States to prove the strength and resilience of its democratic government. Having confirmed that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to Trump’s benefit, the U.S. must do everything it can to prevent foreign influence from tainting the 2020 election as well. This is critically needed to demonstrate that its democracy is secure and its system of government continues to be self-healing.
Foreign influence on U.S. elections is illegal whether provided from abroad, as Russia did in 2016, or solicited by an American — including the occupant of the White House.
Even worse is the appearance that the administration used the promise of military aid to apply pressure. That makes Trump’s pursuit of an investigation look less like a request and more like a shakedown, using taxpayer dollars as the brass knuckles.
What actually happened may or may not be as bad as it sounds.
Getting to the truth, and assuring the public that the 2020 election isn’t already tainted, starts with disclosure of the whistleblower complaint.